Death Wish movies

I watched all the Death Wish movies that star Charles Bronson. I think there was a remake with Bruce Willis? Maybe I’ll watch that later, but I’m pretty sure I got the point.

I watched the movies in this order: 4, 5, 3, 2, 1

I’ve seen talk of watching the Star Wars movie in a unique order, I’ve never seen this for another movie series. I’m definitely glad I saved #1 for last, because it served as a prequel and origin story to the silliness.

They’re dumb silly fun. Don’t think about it too much. Someone wrongs Charles Bronson (I can’t even remember his character’s name at the moment) and then he goes on a killing spree of all those remotely involved. Someone close to him get killed and then he goes into “well I guess I gotta blow the dust off my guns” mode and starts killing. He’s alarmingly emotionless and stoic while doing this killing, but of course he throws in some one liners and quips before shooting people.

My favorite in terms of silliness is #4, the first one to watch if you watch this in Phil Piwonka order. It’s the kind of scenario that makes no sense and only a bad guy in a movie would come up with to construct a plot. Charles Bronson’s girlfriends’ daughter dies of a drug overdose. So watch out drug dealers! This guy approaches CB and tells him “hey my daughter died of that shit too, I’m rich and I have all this information about the local drug networks, you should kill all those people!” CB is just like “yea ok” and the movie is underway. Of course the rich guy also provides CB with a massive number of giant guns. Once CB wipes out all drug people, it turns out (SPOILER ALERT) the rich guy is himself a drug person and was just using CB to get rid of his competition! So you know what that means: gotta kill him too.

Oh Jack Kersey is his characters name, I just remembered. He’s an architect.

The first movie is by far the best. CB seems human and is described as a ‘bleeding heart liberal’ (aka a wuss) who has wussy views on crime and all that. That all changes when his wife and daughter are attacked (the attackers include Jeff Goldblum!) leaving his wife dead and his daughter in a bad mental state. No one saw what happened, we never see the attackers again. CB has no leads. The police have no leads. But CB shoots a gun one day and feels power, you know, the kind of power god must feel when he shoots a gun, and starts taking out his mental anguish on muggers. He starts going out at night and putting himself in precarious situations, basically putting $100 on a string and luring “bad guys” into the bushes and shooting them. He doesn’t get his revenge, he doesn’t find Jeff Goldblum. At the end of the movie he leaves New York for Chicago, and the final scene is him seeing some “thugs” in the train station and pointing his finger like a gun at them. My take away from that final scene: this guy is nuts and needs some therapy.

By the way his name is Paul Kersey, not Jack Kersey. I think I was thinking of Jack Dorsey the Twitter guy.

The rest of the series holds police in low regard, that if you want justice you gotta take matters into your own hands. Everyone who isn’t a police officer seems to have this attitude: the people who CB saves with his vigilantism refuse to give the police any sort of helpful description of CB since they think the cops suck and that they’ll just get in the way. Want true justice? Gotta have someone going around shooting bad guys. Sometimes the cops acknowledge that their hands are tied by bureaucratic red tape so it’s a good thing CB is out there. WHAT?!

In the first movie when CB kills his first mugger he goes back to his apartment and throws up, showing he’s actually human. The first movie doesn’t have any one liners before he shoots people. In all sequels he’s making all kinds of quips before he pumps dudes full of lead. It’s really cartoony, the guns get bigger and the bad guys aim gets worse so he’s really able to clear rooms full of bad guys.

Anyway, I’ll rate the whole series 2 out of 6 bullets in a revolver. The first movie is worth watching since it’s kind of interesting in how they show CB and what he’s doing with some ambiguity. The rest are just silly action movies where CB is basically a robot that gets set into motion.

I watched these movies the way I watch a lot of movies now: on my phone, near a sleeping baby, with subtitles and the volume up one click from muted.